Spies drafts in American chief mechanic to cure technical issues

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Ben Spies has called upon his long time AMA chief mechanic to join him in WSB in an effort to eradicate the technical issues experienced during the opening eight rounds of the championship.

The American rider remains philosophical about his and the teams performance this year, but knows something has to change if he is to ultimately be crowned champion at the end of the season. 

Despite winning eight of the opening 16 races, factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies has suffered three crucial mechanical problems which have robbed him of valuable points.  

In Monza the American ran out of fuel on the last lap in a race he would have won. In South Africa he was forced to retire with a broken gear linkage and in Misano last weekend his clutch went on the start meaning he could only finish in ninth spot.

Without the technical problems Spies could be leading the championship standings instead of being 48 points adrift of Noriyuki Haga and just seven points ahead of Michel Fabrizio.

Speaking to MCN he said: “It’s frustrating, I’ve made a couple of mistakes this year, but if we hadn’t of had the bike problems we’d be pretty close to Nori. That’s racing, I seem to be saying that a lot lately, but that’s the way it is.

“It’s a rough thing and it’s been happening too much and it seems to be continuing. We haven’t been perfect this year, but we’ve been good enough to fight, but we’ve had issues. There’s no real excuse, we’ve just got to keep moving on.

“If we lose the championship by 20 or 30 points then I’ll know we left a lot of points out there but we can’t sit there and say we were a better rider and we won the title, but we had problems.”

When Spies arrived in WSB he brought his long time crew chief Tom Houseworth from America and as of the Donington Park race he will be joined by his AMA chief mechanic Greg Wood.

Spies said: “It’s a change, but no one is leaving the team, I’m just bringing somebody in to start looking at stuff. Maybe nothing changes or maybe there will be some small things that make it better. This is the first step for the future.

“He’s going to work into it slowly but he might be able to find things with the bike and that should benefit everybody. We’ll weigh up options and hopefully make a better all round package.”

Michael Guy

By Michael Guy

Sports Editor, former 250-racer and adventure rider